Drawing a crowdhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/drawing-a-crowd/

Drawing a crowd

When Robert Angel entertained his friends back in 1981 with a game that needed only a dictionary and a little drawing skill.

When Robert Angel entertained his friends back in 1981 with a game that needed only a dictionary and a little drawing skill,little did he know that he would go on to invent one of the world’s best-loved board games — Pictionary. It was in 1985 that this game of quick draw became available to the public,and quickly became a favourite not only with boardgame lovers,but also went on to be a party must-have.

As this much-loved game turns 25 this year,Mattel Toys India has launched the special Indian edition Pictionary,which adds new dimensions to a game which has already changed much since it was first played. “We already have a huge fan base in India. Localising the content by using 500 Indian words will help the youth easily relate to it,” feels Rahul Bhowmik,marketing head,Mattel Toys India.

While the game remains the same,this time it has a jazzy gold packaging with typical Indian symbols to go with the theme. The rules remain the same. The team rolls the dice to move a pawn on the game board. It is compulsory for very member of the team to take a turn to illustrate a given word on a sketchpad,which is included in the kit. To do this,the designated person draws a card out of a deck (which now includes the Indian cards as well) and illustrates the word that corresponds with the colour of the square the team’s pawn is on. The words on the card are categorised: P (person /place/ animal),O (Object),A (Action),D (difficult words) and AP (All play-the teams play for the same word simultaneously). The team has to guess the word before the one-minute hourglass finishes its run.

Previously,the world-class variant of Pictionary,which was introduced back in 2003 in India,proved to be an instant hit amongst a wide-ranging audience.”Mobile and computer games over the years have taken the charm away from board games. But the adrenaline rush that board games give you is remarkable,” says Aditya Nair,an ardent fan. Although he has mastered the art of Pictionary,he feels the newer edition is far more challenging. “Words like Baraat,Bombay Stock Exchange,Gulab Jamun,Sachin Tendulkar,Katrina Kaif are difficult to draw,” he says. Parul Saraff,who owns many board games never imagined that India-specific words like Amul,Chutney,Sitar,Shah Rukh Khan would make it to the pictionary word list. “It is only a matter of time before Pictionary lovers find innovative ways to sketch these words. It is like Dumb Charades. If you have a passion for acting,then no word is difficult. For instance,for Shah Rukh Khan,just draw a man with arms stretched out. It will be an obvious clue,” she laughs.

While the game of sketches and guesses continues to enthrall audiences worldwide,Bhowmik believes that the India Pictionary’s charm is that it enables fans here to play with words which they have grown up with.